A Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata caught everyone's attention for its unique yet thought-provoking theme. Situated in the city's Dum Dum Park, the Bharat Chakra pandal decided to lend its support to the ongoing farmers' agitation by showcasing several aspects of the same in their decor this year. An integral part of these installations talked about the tragic incident in Lakhimpur Kheri that left eight farmers dead.
Tractor, Chappal and Paddy Field
A tractor stands right at the pandal's entrance, which represents their bread and butter. Inside, there are many worn-out slippers that are scattered all around a wall. It also represents the stampede that must have ensued when the police decided to take action against them. A paddy field is recreated artistically to represent the importance of agriculture. In the middle of it, Goddess Durga's statue is installed. The tractor is attached with wings that has the name of the farmers who lost their lives during the agitation.
These installations were the brainchild of an artist named Anirban Das. As quoted by NDTV, he explained the decor's significance. Das said, "The wings symbolise their wishes of being free from bondage."
'Lakhimpur Kheri Amar Rahe'
A major part of the pandal is dedicated to the recent incident in UP. A graffiti is made of a car with a farmer lying right in front of it, depicting what took place on that fateful day. Not only that, several posters adorned the installations with the words 'Stand with Lakhimpur Kheri', 'Lakhimpur Kheri Amar Rahe', 'Kisaan Ekta Zindabad' and the like. Another set read, "We are farmers, not terrorists" and "Farmers are food soldiers."
'No Political Motive'
Pratik Choudhury, the club's puja committee secretary, talked about showcasing the history of the agrarian agitation. "From the days of the Tebhaga movement in 1946-47 to the recent agitation against the three pro-corporate farm bills, we have sought to narrate the story of the farmers who provide the food to us," he said.
Speaking to other media outlets as well, he also added that there is no political motive behind this idea as they just want to use the popular festival to raise awareness about an issue that is known worldwide and prove that Durga Puja is a festival that is celebrated by all communities.
For over a year now, the farmers have been protesting against the laws passed by the central government. Several people have lost their lives during the agitation. In Lakhimpur Kheri, a minister's son allegedly ran over eight farmers, that resulted in countrywide outrage.